Where does Christian Eriksen fit in in Manchester United’s midfield?
Christian Eriksen started 2022 with his career possibly ending and with his health in question. He started the 22/23 season playing for the biggest club of his career after being proven wrong by many challengers.
Last summer there were credible concerns about the 30-year-old midfielder. He suffered a severe heart attack on the pitch at the rescheduled European Championships, one that nearly cost him his life. After a difficult season at Inter Milan he was sidelined by Serie A regulations barring his participation after he was fitted with a pacemaker.
There are no such rules in the Premier League, and after regaining his fitness against Erik ten Hag at his former club Ajax, he joined Brentford, who showed his best qualities in four months in the second half. of the season.
Understandably, Brentford wants to hold on to Eriksen in the new campaign, and Tottenham have been linked with a move to bring him back to North London, where he has played the best football of his career so far. But while he was tempted to reward Brentford’s loyalty, he decided instead to reunite with Ten Hag, who has now taken over at Old Trafford. His arrival could help United in some important ways.
First of all, big bonus that he came without carrying a transfer fee. United have lost Jesse Lingard, Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic, Juan Mata and Edinson Cavani, and there are reasons to consider that Mason Greenwood may never play professional football again. United have lost a few players playing in the front six, and Eriksen has featured most of them. As a free move, he allows the club to focus elsewhere. Where does Eriksen fit in? Well, potentially anywhere in the half line, that’s what United need and the versatility of the player.
Another recent development is the potential release of Cristiano Ronaldo that may need to be addressed. If the Portuguese striker leaves, Bruno Fernandes could be called up to play as a false nine, leaving room for someone just behind the three in front. If he stays, he gives United’s most important players in recent years a chance to rest if necessary. He’s an important player but he can’t work alone, and needs time away from the pitch at times when he’s not effective.
Anthony Martial is another player who can leave, which will further open up space on the sides. Eriksen occasionally played on the right wing, which cut-in, but to do that, Ten Hag would need to find more attacking options at right-back than the silent Aaron Wan- Bissaka. He could occupy a similar position on the left if Tyrell Malacia proves to be more effective than the unfortunate Luke Shaw.
Another option could be to consider three former Ajax players who are in midfield. Donny van de Beek was not given a chance by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and was then allowed to move on loan to Everton. He played his best thing with Ten Hag at Ajax and it would solve one of the problems in midfield if the Dutchman could inspire his countryman. Next to him, in case there is a deal, is Frenkie De Jong. It seems that a move is likely to have passed and Eriksen, De Jong and De Beek are likely to be more rounded and doable than Fred, Fernandes and Pogba.
For now, United fans may be optimistic that Eriksen is only a small part of an extensive rebuilding underway, but there are still many variables that could hurt his arrival. More signing is required, and Ten Hag must revive a miserable atmosphere at Old Trafford. Every manager since Alex Ferguson has failed at some variation of this work, and it remains to be seen how Ten Hag can make a difference.